Houston has changed a ton over the last few years and it is definitely for the better. Outsiders know Houston as a flat, corporate oil & gas city, and there is NASA somewhere too. The flat part may be true, but we have so much more to offer than just a great job market! I love all the new creative spaces popping up around the city and Silver Street is one of them.
…or shall I say mortgage-aversary? Either way we’ve been in our house for three years now! Four more years and we either have to refinance or move (we have 7 ARM mortgage). For some it may seem like far away, but I like to plan ahead (you can’t spell mortgage without “gag”).
It’s almost time for October favorites and I am just now getting to the September (insert cry laughing smiley here). I am going to keep it brief.
Favorite Home Item
I cannot believe I have not boasted about this item. Look, I have two cats. They’re not particularly fluffy, but they’re 14 and they shed. A lot! Also… I’m a girl with long curly hair. I also shed. When I had our Oreck vacuum, I loved it. What’s not to love: light weight, easy clean up, inexpensive. But then one Christmas my mom gave us the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away and I never looked back. It changed my life! Stop it! I can hear you laughing. But if you’re as obsessed with cleaning as I am, you get it. I did not know what I was missing until this vacuum. Not even arguably, but definitely the best present my mom has ever gotten. Shark, can I get an endorsement deal, or something? I am still in awe after every vacuum session how much dust our house manages to collect in one week. If you have carpet, even if you don’t have pets, it’s a must have. As part of some promotional deal, she also got a free steam mop. It looks like they changed the design from the one we have, but I also love it and it beats wasting money on the disposable mop pads from Swiffer (which I own and still sometimes use when I am too lazy to plug the steam mop into the outlet).
I like to change-up soaps. I like trying different things. But I’ve tried a few foaming soaps and I’ve always been disappointed; they run out too fast and don’t clean very well. But one day someone brought to work the foaming Bath & Body Works soap and I was sold. They smell amazing! I love their Mango Mandarin soap, but I am excited to try some of their new fall smells as well!
So I did quite a bit of shopping last month. Not sure what came over me. But the big-ticket item was a new DSLR. My last camera was purchased only 2 years ago, and perhaps it was too early for an upgrade, but I was tired from reading about cropped sensor vs. full frame (photography talk here) and wanted to get my hands on the equipment and try it for myself. Yes, I splurged on my first ever full frame camera, Nikon D750. And I am so happy I did. I’ve had so much fun trying my existing lenses on the new camera vs. the old. You can read all you want, watch thousands of hours of YouTube videos, but there is no experience like getting your hands on and tinkering yourself. This camera is listed under “enthusiast”, not quite full-on professional, but considering that photography is only a side gig that may make me $200 a year and earn a free dinner, I am just not ready to invest $5K+ into a pro body. I still love my D7100 and now I am better able to understand the benefits of a cropped sensor over full frame and vice versa. I better understand how same glass (lenses in photog. talk) performs differently on a different body. Anyways, I love them both, and they both have place in my gear bag! And I’ve been loving the build-in Wi Fi feature that allows me to pull pictures onto my phone straight from the camera body… If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen the pix I posted of Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State, and I did not even bring a computer. Now if only I had time and discipline to update my photography page…
My bonus favorite is this school mascot print I got Dmitry for his birthday. It took forever to come in and I was super excited to give it to him and let him know how proud I am of him… except he didn’t know what it was when he unwrapped it. So much for school pride! I had to teach him about his school! I intended for it to go in the office, but it seemed to fit our downstairs built-in shelved better, so that’s where the pitbull now sleeps.
This is a bit different from my previous recipes; this time all the steps have been filmed! Hope you find it helpful!
My grandma used to make these apple squares when I was a kid and I could snack on them all day long. They’re not the healthiest thing in the world, but the apples gotta make up for all the butter and sugar, right? 😛
• 400 grams of flour (350 for the dough and 50 to add when rolling)
• 1 stick of butter (8 tbsp)
• 3 eggs (two for the dough and 1 for basting)
• 2 green apples
• 100 grams of almonds
• sugar (I used organic coconut sugar, but regular or powdered works too!)
• Grate butter and mix with flour
• Mix two eggs, cover with plastic wrap, and place dough in the freezer
• Cut the apples, grind almonds, and prep sugar
• Roll out the dough and cut into 3″ squares
• Add almonds, apples, and top with sugar, fold
• Baste the squares in egg and sugar
• Bake for 25 minutes on 400F
That’s it! For the step-by-step, watch the video!
Let me know how you like it in the comments below! Or share your recipe if you have another variation of this (some make it with filo dough, I am yet to try it).